Residential Construction Defects in Home Build

Building a home can be an expensive and a long-term investment. It is important to know if you have construction defects and what to do if you have one. When do you pursue legal action? Oftentimes, contacting the contractor or builder to point out the defect does not remedy the problem. While building a home can involve multiple parties, it is not uncommon for construction defects exist. Defects can ultimately lower the value of your home having a negative effect on your investment.

What constitutes a construction defect?

It could be a result of defective materials, faulty design, foundation problems or the actual labor performed on the project. Identifying the type of construction defect will aid in determining which party involved is liable for the defect. Here are the types of construction defects:

Material Defects

Defects that arise due to damaged or inadequate building material are called "material defects." When these defects come from the manufacturer, the parties using these materials usually will not become aware of the defect until after they have already been incorporated into the project. This makes curing material defects particularly expensive because it may require additional labor and new materials.

Design Defects

These defects result from a design professional's failure to produce accurate and well-organized construction documents. This may result from the fault of an engineer or an architect. Design defects occur by error or omission. Errors usually require some sort of redesign and replacement of a component part, while omission can be remedied by adding to a contractor's scope of work through change orders.

Workmanship Defects

When people think of construction defects, typically, workmanship defects are what come to mind. These defects occur when a contractor fails to build a structure or component part in accordance with the construction documents. Workmanship defects can range from simple aesthetic issues to structural integrity problems. Allocating liability and determining how (and even who) failed to abide by the standard of care can be extremely complex. The builder or contractor may be in breach of contract.

Suspect a defect? What do I do?

If a defect is discovered, perform a walk-through. Determine what the issue is and present it to the owner, contractor, or builder as soon as possible. Then you can decide how to proceed in the most cost-effective way. Having a quality control program provides an opportunity to repair the defective work prior to completion, which can reduce monetary damages and prevent future litigation. The walk-through inspection may need to be performed by a structural engineer.

If you experience construction defects during your home building process, our attorneys are here to help resolve the problem. Contact our office in Houston, Texas, by calling 713-572-4900 or emailing us to learn more about the help we can provide. Our goal is to make sure your rights are protected at every stage of the building process.